Cook County Soda Tax Faces Last Hurdle to Repeal

on Oct11

11 October 2017 | 5:26 pm

A plan to repeal Cook County’s sweetened beverage tax is expected to pass its final hurdle on Wednesday. 

After several hours of testimony, the Cook County Board’s Finance Committee voted 15 to 1 in favor of ending the controversial tax on Tuesday.

The board is expected to vote on the proposal at its meeting beginning at 11 a.m. All 17 commissioners sit on the Finance Committee, and will likely vote in the same manner as they did Tuesday.

Only 11 votes are needed to override a possible veto by President Toni Preckwinkle. 

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The proposal would phase out the tax on Dec. 1, at the start of the new fiscal year. Tuesday’s vote took place just two months after the tax took effect in the area.

When the tax originally passed, eight commissioners voted for it and eight voted against it, with Preckwinkle casting the tiebreaking vote to pass the measure. 

Preckwinkle has repeated her warning that massive budget cuts and layoffs could result if the penny-per-ounce tax is repealed, with an 11 percent cut across the board currently on the table if the measure is overturned next week.

Health clinics, prosecutors and public defenders could be impacted as well as perhaps security for local elections and even the mailing of property tax bills on time, she said. 

Still, the tax has fueled much public outcry from both shoppers and business owners in the county. 

Published 6 hours ago | Updated 2 minutes ago

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